On Thursday, February 14, His Excellency Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, discussed Colombia’s ambitious agenda for transitional justice, economic reform, and regional leadership. Duque, who was sworn in as president of Colombia in August 2018, was interviewed by CNBC Contributor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council hosted the event in conjunction with CSIS, AS/COA, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Wilson Center. President Duque covered a wide array of topics, including:
These were among the insights gleaned from a day-long conference at the Atlantic Council on February 12. Organized in conjunction with the Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida, it brought together veteran scholars and up and coming experts with recent field experience in Iran. Many of the speakers also wrote blog posts, which were collected on our IranSource site.
On February 12, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted Yale Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy Daniel C. Esty for a conversation about corporate sustainability in Latin America. Esty’s recently published book, The Labyrinth of Sustainability: Green Business Lessons from Latin American Corporate Leaders, set the context for the discussion, with a look at a collection of case studies that demonstrated Latin America’s unique stage for sustainable corporate investments. Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Deputy Director Paula Garcia Tufro moderated, with Global Energy Center Deputy Director for Climate and Advanced Energy David Livingston joining the conversation.
On February 7, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a discussion with Mr. Tundu Lissu, parliamentarian and chief whip of the Chadema opposition party in the National Assembly of Tanzania, on the state of democracy in his country.
On January 28, The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosted the US launch of the Global CCS Institute’s signature publication, The Global Status of CCS, first presented at the COP24 United Nations (UN) climate conference in Katowice, Poland. Moderated by David Livingston, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center's deputy director for climate & advanced energy, experts on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) discussed the imperative for—and status of—large-scale global carbon emissions reduction and the role for CCS technologies. Taking note of the role of the United States as the traditional leader in CCS technological development to date, the discussion surveyed the possibility of a changing power landscape as governments and companies in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East accelerate funding and innovation in CCS.
On January 30, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center gathered distinguished experts and governmental leaders to discuss the new interim government of Venezuela—led by Juan Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly—and the future of democratic transition in the country. The event served as the first public forum for newly appointed ambassadors of the Guaidó administration, as well as a focal point for discussing the international community’s role in supporting the prospects for democracy in Venezuela. The event consisted of two panel discussions, followed by questions from the audience.
The first panel featured the following speakers: Carlos Vecchio, Chargé d’Affairs to the United States by the Interim Government of Venezuela; Julio Borges, Representative to the Lima Group for the Interim Government of Venezuela; David Smolansky, Coordinator for the Working Group to Address the Regional Crisis Caused by Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Flows at the Organization of American States. The second panel featured the following speakers H.E. David O’Sullivan, Ambassador to the United States from the European Union; H.E. Manuel María Cáceres, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Paraguay; H.E. Alfonso Silva, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Chile, and the Hon. Ed Royce, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the US House of Representatives.
On January 28, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, for a discussion on the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Introducing the distinguished guest, Atlantic Council Vice President and Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham highlighted the magnitude of Mukwege’s work over the years, treating more than 85,000 women and girls since 1999 – 50,000 of whom have been survivors of sexualized violence – and doing so with a unique combination of medical treatment, psycho-social support, community reintegration, legal assistance to pursue justice, and advocacy.
Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated as president of Brazil on January 1. Since taking the helm of Latin America’s largest democracy, the Bolsonaro administration has announced controversial decrees and discussed necessary reforms. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in partnership with the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI), hosted a public event on the heels of the Davos Economic Forum and just three weeks following the inauguration to discuss the next one hundred days of the new administration and the potential impacts of its policy proposals. Panelists included Fabio Kanczuk, executive director for Brazil at the World Bank, newly appointed by the Brazilian administration; Dr. José Pio Borges, chair of the board of trustees for CEBRI; and Pablo Bentes, managing director for international trade and investment at Steptoe and Johnson, LLC.
Last week, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for his second term following last year’s fraudulent electoral process. Despite international condemnation and rising domestic pressure, Maduro is unwilling to relegate his hold on the country. On January 9, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center launched an infographic and hosted a conference call with the new leadership of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly and Stalin González, second vice president, to provide insights on the opposition’s strategy to counter Maduro’s power frenzy.
Guest moderator John Paul Rathbone, the Financial Times Latin America editor, started the conversation with Juan Guaidó by asking about the upcoming actions the opposition will take to initiate a democratic transition in Venezuela. President Guaidó, stressed the severity of current political conditions and future challenges the National Assembly will face – being this the only recognized democratic institution. Guaidó declared the National Assembly’s mission is to make “this usurpation of power cease.”